The Best Story Ever

~Short Story~
Today we got a chance to both babysit for, and take part in, an evangelism training day. Our team had the wonderful opportunity of gleaning wisdom from a number of Living Hope Church’s pastors, elders, and pastoral interns. It was a full day of training, very similar to our GBI’s (Grace Bible Institute), but a bit longer than most. Our team took shifts taking care of the kids so that their parents could attend the sessions. After the training, we headed over to the Mack’s for a time of dinner and fellowship. It’s been a long day, but a great one. Thank you for lifting us up in prayer. Please continue to do so!

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Evangelism practice!
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Leaf hunt!

~Diving Deeper~
This morning our team woke up all spread out amongst our host homes and in various stages of jet lag, rest, and rejuvenation. Praise God that we are here not in our own strength, but by His grace and mercy! We got ready this morning, did our devotions, and joined our host families for breakfast. Pretty soon we were headed over to the facility that Living Hope Church had rented for today’s event. It was a wonderful time of hearing from God’s word, and also getting the chance to go through a little book/tract that Josh Mack made last year. The purpose of the training was to go through the book, titled “the best Story ever.” Chewing on the word of God was such a wonderful way to spend the day.

However, most of our time was spent outside entertaining little ones. It is amazing the joy and life that can be found in these young ones. From running around, to worshipping, to watching movies and eating lunch, it seemed like every one of them had their own renewable energy source that would not allow them to get worn out.

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Worship time with the kids
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Cuddle time

As a team, it was wonderful to be able to partner with the Living Hope Church, and not be in control. This is such a healthy body of believers and it is wonderful to know that we have been called here to aid and encourage, not to take over. Before the trip, we spent a lot of time talking as a team about how we could help without hurting and this is one of the ways that came up most often. We need to be reminded that this trip is not about “the great American team that does everything.” No, we are fellow brothers and sisters in Christ charged with helping and aiding wherever we can. That is exactly what we did. It was so encouraging to see every single person on our team take part in babysitting for the day.

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Have you seen a more content baby?
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Everyone made a new friend today! (or maybe lots of new friends)

After the training day, going back to the Macks was such a privilege! Seriously, our hosts and hostesses here have been incredible. They are so gracious, kind, and genuinely loving. Today we got to do what we came here to do. That might sound extravagant, but it is true. We came here to be an encouragement to the church, to strengthen our missionary team here, and to be of assistance in any way possible. We got to do just that! Today, that meant playing wth kiddos so that moms and dads could listen to and learn from the sessions. It also meant sitting around the dinner table chatting, encouraging, and being encouraged by our missions family that is based here in South Africa! We are not here to be the Saviors of Africa. We are here to do anything and everything God calls us to, so please keep praying that that is exactly what we’ll do!

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Bubble races!

Once again, thank you for your support and love. We could not be here were it not for you sending us out. Thank you for trusting us to humbly bring life, light, and blessing to the nation of South Arica and to its people. Whether that means watching kids or hitting the streets to evangelize, pray that God would show us the way to fulfill our calling here.

You have given us this opportunity and you are so grateful that you did. Keep praying as we prepare for church, communion, and much more tomorrow!

Thank you!
-#SA2016

 

~Team Member Shoutout~
Alyssa Celano is experiencing South Africa for the first time and has given us all a picture of joy to strive for. Her heart is so full of love, especially for her new friend (whose name is not disclosed publicly) from the baby home. She has shown love and joy in the midst of trials, a lack of sleep, and not feeling 100%. Our team has so many gifted, unique, and humorous individuals and Alyssa fits into each of those categories quite well. Her love for the children of South Africa is a beautiful picture of God’s love for His own children. We are blessed that she is a part of this team and we look forward to seeing her joy, love, and laughter continue to overflow throughout this trip.

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Alyssa and her new best friend ❤

 

 

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